Weigh’r do I start?

<Editor’s note: I must ap0logize for that title, I am suuuuuch a dork for finding that play on words to be kinda funny If you aren’t nearly as dorky as me, it was my way of saying “where do I start with weight training schedules.”>

But yes, this is my third in the series on weight training (if you missed the first and second, go back and check ’em out!) – and this one is all about giving you an idea for how to build your own workout schedule for a given week. And a little insight into how to turn that into a “rotation” – thought this was especially important for those of you who said you had a hard time sticking with a weight training program because there wasn’t a tangible “end” like there is if you’re training for a race or something more definitive.

 

My advice for building your own weight training schedule is this:

  • Keep it simple
  • Keep it manageable
  • Make it fun

There are tons of schools of thought on working all upper body then all lower body vs. a couple of body parts per workout vs. full body workouts, but I’ve found that working 2-3 body parts per workout is effective for me. There are times when I go for a full body workout (like Group Power, my favorite group weight training class), but lately I’ve been digging the working 2-3 body parts/workout groove. It lets me work each muscle just a little bit more intensely than if I were doing a full body workout (which would entail less exercises per body part).

Again – this is what works for me, you’ll have to play around with schedules to figure out what style you like, what works for you and what makes you keep coming back for more. And remember, I’m still no professional, this is just my advice from personal experience only.

Monday – chest/back
Chest Superset #1: chest press done with either a barbell or dumbells, whichever you have, both work well here. Follow this up with chest flyes done with dumbells
3 sets; 15-17 reps per set. 30-45 seconds of rest in between sets.
Chest Superset #2: Incline chest press done with either dumbells or a barbell; incline chest flyes to follow
3 sets; 15-17 reps per set. 30-45 seconds of rest in between sets.

Back superset #1: Stiff legged deadlifts (barbell or dumbell will work), followed by bent-over barbell rows;
3 sets; 15-17 reps per set. 30-45 seconds of rest in between sets.
Back superset #2: One-armed row with a dumbell, using a weight bench for stability; followed by lat pulldowns with a resistance band

Wednesday – Shoulders/Legs
(note – this has become one of my favorite pairings, since it’s only one upper body part, I can work those shoulders good, and legs, well I just love working legs so it’s always a fun workout for me!)

Legs set #1: Lunges, body-weight only. 3 sets/15-20 reps per side. 30-45 secs rest between sets.
Legs set #2: Squats with a barbell (or dumbells). 3 sets/15-20 reps per side. 30-45 secs rest between sets.
Legs set #3: Plie squats with one weight. 3 sets/15-20 reps per side. 30-45 secs rest between sets.
Legs set #4: Calf raises with two weights.3 sets/15-20 reps per side. 30-45 secs rest between sets.

Shoulders superset #1: Front raises followed by overhead press with the barbell (or dumbells); 3 sets @15-20 reps, 30 sec rest between sets.
Shoulders superset #2: Overhead presses with dumbells w/arms rotated forward followed by rear delt flyes; 3 sets @15-20 reps, 30 sec rest between sets.
Shoulders superset #3: Side lateral raises followed by upright row with the barbell  (or dumbells); 3 sets @15-20 reps, 30 sec rest between sets.

Friday – Biceps/Triceps:
(note – sticking to supersets or trisets for the most part since it’s the easier of the various styles of weight training I discussed here to learn, IMHO anyway)

Superset #1: barbell curl followed by triceps dips; 3 sets @16 reps each. 30 secs rest between each set.
Superset #2: concentration curls followed by lying triceps extension with barbell: 3 sets @ 16 reps each. 30 secs rest between each set.
Superset #3: incline curls followed by double arm kickbacks; 3 sets @16 reps each. 30 secs rest between each set.
Superset #4: hammer curls followed by one arm overhead triceps extension; 3 sets @16 reps each. 30 secs rest between each set.

Whew. Seems like a lot to learn, right? But really, once you get started, I’m betting you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time passes and that you might actually have a little bit of fun in the process. (who knew?!)

If you wanted to turn this into a one-month rotation, I would stick to three weight training sessions per week, but I’d up the weights you’re lifting by about 5% per week  (or whatever feels good to you, just always remember that the last rep or two should be hard to complete with good form, if you’re not feeling challenged, you should go heavier).

I’d stick to this schedule for about four weeks and then re-evaluate:
Are you still having fun?
Feeling challenged?
Seeing/feeling results?

If you answer “no” to any of these – it’s time to switch it up. Go for a full body workout twice per week. Or, work all upper body one day, all lower one day. Choose a different style of lifting – try some drop-sets or double-wave loads. Go for heavier weights and fewer reps. Go for a body weight-only workout with something like Core Fusion. Add some floor work to you leg routine (leg lifts anyone??).

See?
There are literally endless options when it comes to lifting, just imagine all the possibilities, right??

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Weigh’r do I start?

  1. I think the key is to change it up too. Don’t get stuck to back/biceps always together or biceps/triceps. I’ve been doing 2 upper body workouts for the past several weeks after more than a year of splits. So it’s been a refreshing change, yet I know I’ll go back to the splits b/c they work best for me too typically. Though since this is a major change, been seeing some nice results.

    • GOOD point – doing all splits is great but just like anything else, your body will adjust to it if you do that style all the time. Awesome that you’re seeing results!! Love that.

  2. I need to start printing these out and bringing them to the gym with me! I love strength training because you see results. It’s so rewarding. I stick with the exercises I like and don’t force myself to do ones that feel like “punishment.” There are so many weight lifting variations out there — it’s practically impossible NOT to find something you like! Thanks for sharing all this good stuff!

    • I’m happy to hear you say that – being the runner that you are, seeing “results” means seeing a faster number on your next race or whatever, but with weight training it can be harder to “see” results because it’s less of an instant gratification thing, you know what I mean?

      I’m glad you like this series! 🙂

  3. I love your title! I’m a dork about those things, too. I love words! Ha. The possibilities really do seem endless with weights. I feel that way with CrossFit because each class has a completely different combination of exercises to work the whole body. It’s pretty cool! I’m on a serious yoga run this week, though. Just what my body needs right now. 🙂

  4. This info is so helpful and thorough! I am bookmarking the entire series. I need all the help I can get. Now I need to figure out what I like. I know it’s out there!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s